Brazilian President, At United Nations, Blasts Spying By Washington
God can indeed be found in the United States Constitution
We have begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so as to properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies, with the privacy concerns that all people share, said Obama, who concentrated mostly on the crisis in Syria and the prospects for a diplomatic opening with Iran. Rousseff rejected the U.S. government reasoning that the NSA surveillance was aimed at detecting suspected terrorist activity and she accused the agency of engaging in industrial espionage. Rousseff said she had asked Washington for explanations, an apology and promises the surveillance would never be repeated. Postponing the state visit was a rare and diplomatically severe snub by Brazil. While foreign leaders frequently visit the White House, state visits are reserved for special occasions and include an elaborate state dinner. No new date has been set. Rousseffs state visit was conceived to highlight cooperation between the two biggest economies in the Americas and Brazils emergence over the past decade as a regional power. Ties between the United States and Brazil had been improving steadily since Rousseff took office in 2011. The cancellation could harm cooperation on trade, regional affairs and other issues at a time of growing influence from China, which has surpassed the United States as Brazils leading trade partner. The trip had been seen as a platform for deals on oil exploration and biofuels technology, and Brazils potential purchase of fighter jets from Chicago-based Boeing Co.
For The United States diplomacy can’t begin with a bomb
By Carol J. Williams and Vincent Bevins September 24, 2013, 7:59 a.m. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her lead-off speech at the annual United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to blast the United States for operating a worldwide spying network that she said violates the sovereignty of other countries and the civil liberties of their citizens. Rousseff had already signaled her nation’s outrage over reports of National Security Agency data interceptions in Brazil by canceling a summit and state dinner with President Obama that had been set for late October. “What we have before us is a serious case of violation of human rights and civil liberties,” Rousseff told the assembly immediately after opening pleasantries. Also She described arguments that the technological surveillance of individuals, businesses and diplomatic missions is necessary in the global fight against terrorism as “untenable” and an affront to the sovereignty of nations. “Brazil can protect itself,” Rousseff declared. “Brazil doesnt provide shelter to terrorist groups.” Rousseff never mentioned Obama or the NSA by name but said her nation’s dismay over “this case of disrespect” had been communicated to Washington, along with its insistence that Brazil “cannot possibly allow recurring and illegal actions to go on as if normal practice.” Since July, Brazilian news organization Globo has published three reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden , which alleged that the United States had spied on Brazilian citizens, Rousseff herself, as well as important state-run oil company, Petrobras. Rousseff has strongly denounced the alleged eavesdropping and asked Obama for a public apology and concrete actions to curb it. The decision to cancel the Washington trip, a rare diplomatic snub of the United States, was well received in many parts of Brazil, especially in the base of her left-of-center Workers Party, many of whose members have memories of a U.S.-backed military dictatorship that spied on dissidents. ALSO:
Taking the Lead: Obligations of the United States as Global Hegemon
Wohlforth demonstrate in their article “Unipolarity, State Behavior, and Systemic Consequences” that other states rival the U.S. in one area or another, but “the multifaceted character of American power places it in a category of its own… What makes the global system unipolar is the distinctive distribution of material resources.” Given the above definition’s specification that the hegemon often establishes and enforces the rules and norms in the international system, the question becomes: to what ends and in what situations should we devote our national energies and all of our advantages towards assisting countries in need? “…There is some positive relationship between a state’s relative capability to help or harm others and its ability to get them to do what it wants,” Ikenberry, Mastanduno, and Wohlforth argue. “Even if the relationship is complex, more capabilities relative to others ought to translate generally into more power and influence.” This being true, isn’t our job as the world’s hegemonic power defined by our ability to at least try to keep our fellow countries conflict free? As the world’s most powerful country–a title that took us 45 years of fighting with Russia to attain–isn’t it irresponsible not to intervene in some way? Speaking specifically on the Syrian conflict, Samantha Power believes that a lack of U.S. action signals to North Korea and Iran that the international community is willing to tolerate the use of weapons of mass destruction. That’s how much the actions of the United States, as hegemon, matter. She corroborates that “…the United States possesses unique capabilities to carry out a swift, limited and proportionate strike so as to prevent and deter future use of chemical weapons” and that “countries around the world have joined us in supporting decisive action.” As the most powerful nation and the only one with these capabilities, we represent those countries. We are obligated to act in some way. Power does admit that “the United States cannot police every crisis any more than we can shelter every refugee.” Maybe we can’t resolve every single crisis but with all of our resources, we owe it to those in the international community who have less than us to try to maintain order. Giving our full consideration to each conflict that arises or crime that occurs–the opposite of what we did during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide–is what makes us the world’s police. One question that stood out in my research was “if the U.S. stops being the world’s police, do we stop being the world’s superpower?” Our might over Russia during the Cold War and our unique resources are what make us the global hegemon but, like it or not, if we choose not to use these advantages to police the world, what kind of superpower are we?
While the Fifth Amendment – the right not to testify against one’s self – has been very recently questioned, and the Second Amendment – the right to bear arms – seems to be under particular attack of late, the one that everyone seems to know best and think they are experts on is the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Generally, this is the first document people will turn to in order to prove a point about “separation of church and state”. However, there is no such language in the Constitution of the United States. “See,” they crow, “God isn’t in the Constitution!” How wrong they are! First, while the Federal Government could not establish a religion, the states most certainly did have that right. In Connecticut, the state religion was the Congregational Church. In Massachusetts, no specific religion was named, but all citizens had to be a member of and pay taxes to some church. In eight states, it is still illegal for an atheist to hold public office, though the Supreme Court has ruled that to be unenforceable. The prohibition on establishment was for the Federal Government, disallowing it to force a specific religion upon any state. It was not a law against religion or religious expression by government officials or in government owned properties. Second, the wording was not meant to suggest that all religions have the same footing.
Brazil’s Rousseff criticizes United States for spying
No one cares for the bully on the playground, especially if the bully has nuclear warheads, conventional weapons and a proclivity for bombing countries. Solving the worlds problems isnt the role of the United States and acting militarily isnt the answer unless American interests are threatened directly. For decades, the U.S. has placed weapons in the hands of ruthless monarchies and autocrats in countries such as the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. When these governments look forward to controlling their population many times its by using weapons provided from the United States. Acting as the global police undermines the sovereignty of another country and not allowing another country the same rights to privacy, freedom and justice creates unwanted conflict. Americas overzealous tendency to bomb the shit out of everyone stems from arrogance and ignorance . The arrogance for believing the U.S. is the only country that matters in a global economy and ignorance for not understanding the cultural dynamic of other countries. A lack of education leads to a parochial and ill-informed America unable to render decisions based on diplomacy instead they resort to bombs like a bully who doesnt get their way. America is a super power both militarily and economically and protecting its global interests requires an approach that serves not only its best interests but is also sensitive to the needs of others in a global community. Bombing countries into submission will surely create more enemies and hostility in the world than it will bring about peace, lasting relationships and trust from other sovereign nations.